On Tuesday we hooked up with the local Nefesh B'Nefesh representatives and a small group of recent olim and went out on a Chanukah tiyul. We thought it was going to be a fairly light day. Something about a park. Yeah. I really need to learn to actually read fliers before deciding ot sign up for things.
In this case it worked out great. In future I might not get off so well!
We got on the bus and were taken to park Canada. I have no idea why there are so many tihngs in this country named after Canada, but I am not going to complain. Frankly, I rather missed getting to see the trees change colour, and the park actually had maple trees! No really nice red ones, but we did get some nice shades of brown and yellow.
And now ladies and gentlement, the park (brought to you by every single tzedakah box you have had since kindergarden.
This also brings us to the first of our many M*A*S*H* references for the day. The sign post. Jason and I were way beyond amused that there was a sign post with a sign for "Canada that-a-way" (The white one at the bottom says Canada. Click on the picture to enlarge it if you don't believe me.)
And obviously we need a gratuitous picture of our little explorer. The pink sparkly shoulder bag with a huge sparkley hello kitty on it was a Chanuka gift because she wanted a tik like mine that she could wear over her shoulder.
This was the tourguide for the day, Josh Evenchen (Goldstein). He was incredible with the kids. Seriously, if you are ever planning a nature hike with kids he is fantastic. We was able ot bring in all sorts of Tanach references to make it "real" (ie, that is the ayalon valley where Yehoshua told the sun to stand still. This is the area where the Chashmonaim would have hidden from the Yivanim... maybe even in one of the caves we just passed!"). He also got the kids to act out parts of the chanuka story that "could have happened right here" with props and everything. Honestly, he was fantastic. Lets hear it for Josh! Yechi! Hedad! Ok, enough of that.
History in this country is not so much something you study as something you trip over. the kids were going mad collecting bits of ancient pottery that were lying all over the ground in the park waiting to be found. Here is a picture of Channah with the first piece she found. Thank goodness for the new tik or I would have ended up shlepping home about 100 pounds of the stuff. Ok, so I might be exagerating a little- it was really on maybe 15 pieces, but even so. She collected to send to people to show them. Don't be surprised if you get a random pottery shard in the mail from us.
Once we finished the hike (about an hour and a half or two hours. It was a good walk with some more difficult rockey areas that made it fun and a bit of a challenge for shorty) we had lunch then got back on the bus for the 3 minute drive to the tank museum in Latrun. We got to see inside a tank (it is actually really cool. They have a tank sliced in half so you can see the inside, and dummies of the solders who would be in the there.) Along with the tourguide from the museum (a soldierette who somehow managed to get the job of tourguide rather than active duty) , our tourguide Josh was full of interesting information as he did his service and now his milluim in a tank.
Along with the memorial for the armoured core and a movie, there are also tanks. The museum has on display every tank Israel ever used or fought against. And you can climb on them. As usual I played photographer.
Here comes the real M*A*S*H references. The big tank below. The one that ISrael used for years and years and years. Orriginally used by the Americans in various wars. The General Sherman.
Can you not just see Klinger coming round in an evening gown and perls in this ve-Hickle?
And I am sure I saw Father Malkayhey driving this one around stuffed with orphans who needed a place for Christmas.
Once we were done there the sun was setting on our day with Nefesh B'Nefesh- but what a sun it was! This picture was not doctored. The sun, in thel ate afternoon, really was that bright white.
Oh, and did I forget ot mention that we did the tiyul in long sleeve shirts? Would you believe this is winter?